- 1. Become a Foster Parent to Needy Animals!
- 2. ASPCA Happy Tails: Family Reunion
- 3. Earn 15% Off at the ASPCA Store
- 4. ASPCA Asks Court to Direct Helmsley Money Back to Dogs
1. Become a Foster Parent to Needy Animals!
We all know one of the best ways to help your local shelter is to donate your time as a volunteer. But what about volunteering your home to some needy animals? Shelters nationwide often need help caring for their pets until they’re ready for adoption. Animal foster programs are a great way to make a hands-on difference in the lives of animals in your community.
For example, the ASPCA’s Foster Care Program matches animal-loving Good Samaritans like you with pregnant and nursing cats, underweight kittens and puppies and recovering dogs and cats. The animals are cared for in the volunteer's home until they are ready to be placed into the adoption program. Foster parents receive food, supplies and medication, and those volunteers who fall in loveit’s been known to happen!do have the option to adopt the pets in their care.
According to ASPCA Volunteer Manager Diane Wilkerson, the need for fosters for cats and kittens is especially great. "The more cats and kittens that we get out and into foster homes until they are ready for adoption, the more space we have here at the shelter," says Diane. "We work collaboratively with some of the area’s other shelters and bring animals here, so it gives them a better opportunity to find a loving home."
Still need convincing? Check out our Foster Diaries, an updated blog by one of our selfless volunteers who’s spending her summer vacation fostering a new mama cat and her kittens.
P.S.: Live in NYC and want to become a foster caretaker? Contact Cherylyn Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org (212) 876-7700, ext. 4170 to sign up for our next orientation class on August 20! And remember, many shelters across the country sponsor similar programs, so be sure to check with your local shelter if you’re interested in fostering needy pets.
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2. ASPCA Happy Tails: Family Reunion
What started as a leisurely, sunny Sunday for Dan Catalano and Sarah Warren of Riverdale, NY, soon turned dark when their elderly cat, Boutros Boutros Kittyaka “Bootsy”went missing.
Back in 1994, Dan first discovered the 17-year-old Burmese perched on top of a metal partition near his apartment in New York City’s East Village. She was a young peach at the time, pregnant and alone, but Dan was confident someone would claim the lovely purebred. He put up signs and waited for the call, but no one ever came for her. A cat’s lifetime later, Bootsy is now firmly a part of Dan’s life.
“She really likes to sun herself outside,” says Dan. But he and Sarah were still shocked when the aging kitty, who suffers from arthritis, limited mobility and digestive problems, recently left her sun perch and hopped their back patio’s bamboo fence. Distraught, the couple scoured the neighborhood and shook the cat’s favorite treats to no avail. They eventually put up “lost cat” signs and resigned themselves to an unhappy waiting game.
Meanwhile, a Good Samaritan was already taking care of the naughty escapee. Dan explains: “A neighbor saw Bootsy crossing the street, thought she was a malnourished kitten and scooped her up.” The Good Samaritan brought the cat to the ASPCA in Manhattan, where her daughter is a volunteer and where she knew she’d be in good hands.
But word of mouth started to work in Dan and Sarah’s favor. A friend who manages a feral cat colony in the neighborhood saw their signs and heard about the Good Samaritan who had rescued such a cat. Tuesday night, the Good Samaritan called and told Dan that Bootsy was safely ensconced at the ASPCA.
First thing the next morning, a full three days after Bootsy was lost, Sarah went to the ASPCA to pick up the beloved elder, who’s now slightly miffed because her little neighborhood jaunt meansthe end of her patio privileges. “We’re just so happy to have her back,” says Dan with a sigh of relief. We do love happy endings!
Do you Twitter? Use this hashtag to tweet on this article: @aspca and #ElderCatReunion
3. Earn 15% Off at the ASPCA Store
What products do you want to see in the ASPCA Online Store? We'd love to know! With our expert-approved pet toys, ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement items, books, pet travel aids, jewelry and fabulous tees, we've covered a lot, but maybe there are some other special items you'd like us to offer. Tell us about it!
Take our 5-minute Survey [Update: The survey is closed. Thanks for your help!] let us know how the ASPCA Online Store can serve you better. After you submit your responses, we'll provide you with a coupon code good for a 15% discount on your entire next order.
Thanks for helping us make the ASPCA Online Store an even better place to shop!
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4. ASPCA Asks Court to Direct Helmsley Money Back to Dogs
The ASPCA, along with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Maddie’s Fund, filed suit this week in New York Surrogate’s Court to intervene in the matter of the late Leona Helmsley’s $5 billion estate. The suit seeks to overturn an earlier ruling that allows the Helmsley Trusteesthose responsible for issuing charitable grants from the estateto disregard Mrs. Helmsley’s specific instructions that her wealth be used to help dogs.
“Just a fraction of the money involved in Mrs. Helmsley’s estate is a game-changer for animal welfare,” says Marsha Perelman, ASPCA Board Chair. “The fate of dogs in this country could very well rest on the decision of this lawsuitit is that critical.”
No nonprofit groups involved with animal welfare were contacted or given an opportunity to register formal objections prior to the court’s controversial ruling last fall. As a result of that ruling, and in clear violation of Mrs. Helmsley’s wishes, less than 0.1% the trust’s initial round of grants was allocated to dog welfare-related charities.
“Dog fighting, puppy mills, pet homelessness and overpopulation are not $100,000 problems. But they’re not billion-dollar problems, either,” says Ed Sayres, President and CEO of the ASPCA. “Mrs. Helmsley understood the importance of animal welfare. She wanted her worldly estate to make our society better for dogs and animalsand if distributed as she intended, it definitely has the power to do so.”
This case has larger implications beyond the fate of the Helmsley estate. The three organizations believe that the court system has a responsibility to protect the wishes of any decedent, and also to protect the charity world from the whims of trustees who wish to ignore estate planning instructions. The misdirection of the Helmsley fortune should be of interest to everyone who hopes to provide for beloved pets after death, as well as to the multitude of organizations, from nonprofits to universities, that rely on bequests.
The groups involved in the lawsuit are not seeking grants for themselves, but do hope to work with the Helmsley Trustees in an advisory capacity to award grants to animal welfare groups of various size and scope around the country. “There has been a sea change in recent years in how we treat animals. It’s a shame that the Helmsley Trustees don’t understand or respect that change,” says Sayres.
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